tread water Meaning in Cambridge American English Dictionary
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Meaning of "tread water" - American English Dictionary

tread water

to float with your head above the water’s surface and your feet below you by moving your legs and arms up and down To tread water is also to be active but without making progress or falling further behind: Stock prices continued to tread water this week.
(Definition of tread water from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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